miércoles, 12 de octubre de 2016

EU free flow of data initiative vs Alphabet?

More than a year ago, I wrote in this blog how Google had started to drive us towards what I called "The Alphabet Home". Last week this Google business line was confirmed in its autumn products launch event. A more powerful Chrome cast, New wifi routers and a Google Home device are among the presented products. It definitively looks that home will be the new battlefield for the Internet giants.

However, consumers does not look enticed yet by the dream of a fully automated home. A recent study pointed to the excessive prices of Smart Home devices as a brake for its adoption. The need for partnerships between utilities and the Smart Home manufacturers was also highlighted in the report. Probably, both of them are reasons for the lack of adoption, nevertheless, there are other more important reasons in my opinion. 

First of all, we have the security issue. Year after year, we can read articles pointed to the same threats and fears: hacking of objects, DDoS attacks to the home appliances, steal of information, ... it looks that manufacturers will not include security-by-design without a regulatory pressure from the governments. Equally important is the lack of rules regarding the handling of data. The potential early adopters are aware of the amount of data that could be generated from this devices, which companies look eager to monetise with the creation of marketplaces

Once more, it looks that the European Commission will try to innovate with an initiative to promote the free flow of data in Europe. The initiative has at its heart the need to set a favourable environment for Internet of the Things, in general, and Smart Home development, in particular. Both the need to embed security rules within Smart Home appliances and the clarification of the rules for handling data could be included in the initiative. 

Due to the contenders from both sides, the Internet giants and the European Commission, we can expect to listen again the complaints of European protectionism in Smart Homes area

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